Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pope John Paul II: May 18, 1920 - April 02, 2005

The third longest-reigning pope ever, the man who was once Karol Wojtyla died at the age of 84 today (9:37 PM April 2 in Rome, about 3:00 AM April 3 Philippine Time). Pope John Paul II served as an outstanding successor of Peter for almost thirty years. May the next pope (who hopefully will be elected by the end of the month) be just as great.

On to a related rant. Reading an article in about who might be the next pope, I'm angered that the non-Catholic media still has this irritating habit of using terms like "liberal Catholic." This evil euphemism is offensive in a lot of ways. First, it deadens the guilt that all heretics ought to have for disobeying Christ's Church, as if it doesn't matter ("Oh, I'm a liberal Catholic, so it's okay for me to kill my baby."). Second, "liberal Catholic" implies that such heretics are somehow still in communion with the Church. For example, the article mentions "liberal factions" in the Church. There are no liberal factions in the Church. The liberal factions are outside the Church, automatically excommunicated by their own loss of faith.

Third, calling someone liberal implies that he has some sort of freedom. But being free from one's nature is no freedom at all. "Do not go about as a demagogue, encouraging triangles to break out of the prison of their three sides," Chesterton once said. "If a triangle breaks out of its three sides, its life comes to a lamentable end." And this is what happens when a person becomes "free from dogma" (which is what liberal Catholics supposedly are). To reject the very Thing that gives nourishment to your immortal soul (i.e. the teachings of Christ himself) is nothing but suicide. There is no freedom in it. Freedom requires Life.

Whoever the next pope will be, the notion of him being "liberal" is nothing short of a total nightmare. But we can all rest assured that this will not happen, because Christ won't let it: "Thou are Peter, and upon this Rock I shall build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."

May the soul of Pope John Paul II rest in peace. Long live the next pope.